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Traill family fonds
































































































































































































Series 1 William Edward Traill. — 1863-1918. — The series consists of letters written to his family about his life; reminiscences, financial records; and miscellaneous appointments and certificates.
M-1241-1 W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1863-1866. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Fort Garry, Fort Ellice and Fort Defiance. Includes descriptions of the following:

Trip west from Canada to Fort Garry via the Mississippi River, St. Paul and Pembina

Conditions at, and agricultural prospects of the Red River Settlement

Buffalo hunts and making pemmican

Opinions of Indians [First Nations], Sioux, Saulteaux, etc.

Details of the fur trade, methods of travel, food, clothing and prices

M-1241-2 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-1 above.
M-1241-3

W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1867-1870. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Touchwood Hills, Egg Lake, Fort Pitt and Carlton House. Includes descriptions of the following:


Marriage to Harriet McKay and birth of their first child, Walter


Speculation on reorganization of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) after administration of the North-West Territories are transferred to the Canadian government


Grasshopper plague


Visit of the Earl of March


Smallpox epidemic at Carlton House

M-1241-4 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-3 above.
M-1241-5

W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1871-1874. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Carlton Farm (near Prince Albert), Carlton House and Lac La Biche. Includes descriptions of the following:


Unrest at Red River Settlement


Disappearance of the buffalo and starvation among the Indians [First Nations]


Reorganization of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and fate of employees


Arrival of Indian Commissioner and other government officials from Canada


Smallpox epidemic at Carlton House


Visit of Reverence Henry Bird Steinhauer to Lac La Biche

M-1241-6 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-5 above.
M-1241-7

W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1875-1880. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Lac La Biche and other locations. Includes descriptions of the following:


Indian [First Nations] starvation and unrest


Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) administration and inequalities


Depression in fur trade


Poor opinion of settlers arriving in the west


Receipt of commission as a junior trader

M-1241-8 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-7 above.
M-1241-9

W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1881-1885. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Lac La Biche and Lesser Slave Lake. Includes descriptions of the following:


Unrest of Indians [First Nations] and Metis


Louis Riel and the 1885 Rebellion

M-1241-10 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-9 above.
M-1241-11

W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1886-1887. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Lakefield, Pembina, Winnipeg, Fort Vermilion and Fort Chipewyan. Includes descriptions of the following:


Geographical and geological features


Ferns and plans of Vermilion and Chipewyan areas


Friendship with Bishop Richard Young at Vermilion

M-1241-12 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-11 above.
M-1241-13

W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1888-1889. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Fort Vermilion, Quesnelle and Fort St. James. Includes descriptions of the following:


Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) administration


Ex-Chief Factor Gavin Hamilton


Ice jam and floods at Fort Vermilion


Appointment as lay delegate to local Synod of Anglican clergy at Vermilion


Trip to Fort St. James from Vemilion and gold mining along the Fraser River


Salmon fishing


Chinese in British Columbia


Indians [First Nations] of the Fort St. James area

M-1241-14 Typescripts of the letters in file M-1241-13 above.
M-1241-15

W.E. Traill’s correspondence. — 1888-1889. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Fort St. James, Quesnelle, Victoria and Prince Albert. Includes descriptions of the following:


Trips to Quesnelle and Victoria


Cannery and can-making


Hudson’s Bay Company [HBC] business, company rules and regulations, decline in fur trade and loss of profits


Personal observations re decline of fur trade and his decision to quit service and take up a farm near Prince Albert


Description of his farm

M-1241-16 Typescripts of the letters in file M-1241-15 above.
M-1241-17

W.E. Traill’s papers relating to the Hudson’s Bay Company [HBC]. — 1886-1892. — Consists of photocopies of letters and lists, including the following:


Letter from Donald A. Smith to W.E. Traill re life insurance policy, 1886


Letter from Chief Factor Roderick MacFarlane to Governor and Committee of HBC re levels of pay and benefits of company officers, 1886


Circular letter from Joseph Wrigley at HBC Commissioner’s Office to company officers re new methods in trading, buying and classifying furs, reduction of expenses, and rules and regulations, 1889


List of officers and their posts, 1891 and 1892

M-1241-18

W.E. Traill’s financial records. — 1864-1912. — Consists of photocopies of the following:


Pages from ledger books, recording his account with HBC, 1864-1891


Current accounts and receipts from HBC, merchants at Prince Albert, etc., re various purchases and payment of taxes, 1885-1912

M-1241-19

W.E. Traill’s reminiscences. — 1911 and n.d. — Consists of photocopies of Traill’s memories about the following:


Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) personalities


Buffalo hunting and making pemmican


Chief Trader William McKay


Indians [First Nations] of the plains


Incident of Jack Ingraham, ex-chief of the Winnipeg police


Snowshoe trip from Fort St. James to Quesnelle in 1890


Murder, cannibalism and other incidents

M-1241-20 Transcipts of the reminiscences in file M-1241-19 above.
M-1242 Indenture with Hudson’s Bay Company re tract of land at Edmonton. — 1883. — 2 pages. — Consists of photocopy.
M-1243 Personal letters from W.E. Traill to his mother, Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. — 1880-1881. — Consists of photocopies.
M-1529 Correspondence re appointment to the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). — 1864. — 3 pages. — Consists of a transcript of the original document.
M-3290 Land tax receipts, Edmonton (1898 and 1900); halfbreed (Metis) scrip, Prince Albert (1900), and an invoice for mammal skuls, Stuart Lake, British Columbia (1893). — 4 items
M-4624 Article, “The Breaking Up of the Ice in the Peace River” in 1888. — 6 pages
M-7818 Hudson’s Bay Company indenture of William Traill (1883); and railway passes (1918). — 3 items

Series 2 Harriet (McKay) Traill. — 1889-1893. — The series consists of diaries about her life.
M-1241-21 Harriet Traill’s diary of a trip. — 1889. — Consists of a photocopy of a diary written during the family move from Fort Vermilion to Fort St. James on Stuart Lake, British Columbia. Include details of the trip, and descriptions of Fort St. James and local personalities.
M-1241-22 Typescript of the diary in file M-1241-21 above.
M-1241-23

Harriet Traill’s diary. — [ca. 1889-1893]. — Consists of a photocopy of a diary, including descriptions of the following:


Life and personalities at Fort St. James


Trip from Fort Vermilion to Fort St. James


Indians [First Nations], their villages and fishing in the Stuart Lake area


Roman Catholic mission and priests


New Year’s Day celebration

M-1241-24 Transcript of the diary in file M-1241-23 above.

Series 3 Walter J.S. Traill. — 1866-1914. — The series consists of letters written to his family about his life.
M-1241-25

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1866-1867. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from St. Paul, Fort Garry, Qu’Appelle, Fort Pelly and Fort Ellice. Includes descriptions of the following:


Trip west from Canada to Fort Garry via the Mississippi River and St. Paul


Friendship with Norman D. Kittson in St. Paul


Life in Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) service, including daily routine, rates of pay and food


Fur trade and trade goods


Observations re Indians [First Nations] and halfbreeds [Metis]


Lack of law and order


Arrival of a party of Mormons and Yankee miners from Salt Lake on way to Montana gold mines


Grasshopper plaque


Poem: “Robert Cambell’s Adieu to the Pelly”

M-1241-26 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-25 above.
M-1241-27

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1968-1869. — Consists of photocopie of letters written to his family from Fort Ellice and Riding Mountain. Includes descriptions of the following:


Details of fur trade


Opinions re purchase of Rupert’s Land by government of Canada


Administration of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)


Alcohol problem among Indians [First Nations] and free traders


Incidents involving Saulteaux and Sioux


HBC personalities

M-1241-28 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-27 above.
M-1241-29

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1870-1872. — Consists of photocopies of letter written to his family from Riding Mountain, Georgetown (Minnesota) and Frog Point (Dakota). Includes descriptions of the following:


Unsettled state of affairs of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and transfer of Rupert’s Land to Canada


Relations of Indians and halfbreeds [First Nations and Metis] with the HBC


Fur trade and free traders


Smallpox epidemic


Fenian raid at Pembina


Red River Settlement during the rule of the Provisional Government


Meeting with Louis Riel


Opinions of the Rebellion

M-1241-30 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-29 above.
M-1241-31

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1873-1874. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family form Georgetown (Minnesota) and Grand Forks (Dakota). Includes descriptions of the following:


Increasing restlessness and criticisms of workload and pay levels for Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) clerks


Other job offers made to him and his thoughts of quitting HBC service


Appointment by the Governor of Dakota to represent the territory on the Centennial Board for the 1876 Grand International Exhibition at Philadelphia


Criticism of the Canadian government’s policy of encouraging settlement of the west by ill-prepared settlers without independent financial means

M-1241-32 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-31 above.
M-1241-33

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1875-1876. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Grand Forks (Dakota) and St. Paul. Includes descriptions of the following:


Closing of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) posts in Minnesota and Dakota


Opinions re American Army officers


Advice to settlers


Account of meeting with General Custer and opinions of Custer’s state of mind prior to the Battle of the Little Bighorn

M-1241-34 Transcripts of the letters in file M-1241-33 above.
M-1241-35

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1877-1879. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Florida, Arkansas, Grand Forks, Dakota and Winnipeg. Includes descriptions of the following:


Cities, life and people of the American south


Opinions re state of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) affairs and decision to leave company service


Entry into grain business in partnership with Barnes and Terry, later W.P. Howland and Company


Details of grain business, importance of railway, prices, etc.


Farm and crop conditions and prices in Manitoba


Advantages of farming in the USA vs Canada


Meeting with Donald Alexander Macdonald, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario and opnions re same

M-1241-36 Transcripts of letters in file M-1241-35 above
M-1241-37

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1880-1892. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his famliy from Winnipeg, West Lynne, Pembina and St. Paul. Includes descriptions of the following:


Grain business


Marriage to Mary Gilbert and birth of first child, Walter


Opinions re administration of the North-West Territories


Manitoba and Indian [First Nations] affairs and re John Norquay and Edgar Dewdney


Railway building and constructon contracts


Description of the Ozarks


Declining crop prices and and values in the 1890s


Decision to start stock farm in Montana

M-1241-38

Walter Traill’s correspondence. — 1893-1914. — Consists of photocopies of letters written to his family from Kalispell, Montana and Carson, British Columbia. Includes descriptions of the following:


Farm life, crop failures and prices


Irrigation projects


Labour unions and wages


Chinese and Japanese in the USA


Alaska Boundary dispute


Opinions re Theodore Roosevelt


Okanagan Valley and its suitability for agriculture


Opinions re USA and its role in the First World War

M-1243 Walter J.S. Traill’s letters regarding a journey to Fort Garry in 1866. — Consists of photocopies.

Series 4 Mary Traill. — 1972-1976. — 2 sound recordings. — Consists of recorded interviews about her life and nursing career.
RCT-247 Interview with Mary Traill by T.R. McCloy. — [ca. 1972-1973]. — 1 audio reel. — Consists of her reminiscences as the daughter of a Hudson’s Bay Company chief trader and her nursing experiences. Includes comments on floods, Fort-a-la-Corne, homesteading, Meskanaw, nurses, Prince Albert, Sioux, stopping houses, Walter Traill and William Traill. View outline.
RCT-204 Interview with Mary Traill by Joy Duncan. — February 24, 1976. — 1 audio cassette. — Consists of her reminiscences of nursing in a small rural town from 1918-1950. Includes comments on arctic regions, epidemics, influenza (flu), Kinistino, nurses, obstetrics, midwifery, and public health nursing. View outline.

Series 5 Photographs. — [ca. 1859-1930]. — 172 photographs. — The series consists of views of the Traill family and Hudson’s Bay Company personalities.


Many of these photographs have been scanned. View now.

PA-498 Mckay, Traill, Clarke and Laurence families; Fort Ellice, Prince Albert and New Denver. — [ca. 1859-1930]. — 34 photographs
PA-1540 W.E. Traill, chief trader, Hudson’s Bay Company. — [ca. 1914]. — 1 photograph
PB-33 Composite photo of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) commissioned officers. — [ca. 1972-1881]. — 1 photograph
PD-232 Portraits of McKay and Traill family members, and religious figures. — [ca. 1870s-1880s]. — 1 album (105 photographs)
NA-50 Hudson’s Bay Company commissioned officers. — [ca. 1872-1881]. — 6 photographs. — Consists of composite photographs of individual portraits.
NA-80 Views of Fort Ellice, Manitoba and New Denver, British Columbia. — 1859, 1890 and n.d. — 5 photographs. — Copied from the originals in PA-498.
NA-741-5 William Edward Traill family. — [ca. 1896]. — 1 photograph
NA-1010 Traill family, McKay family, and Hudson’s Bay Company factors and employees. — [ca. 1860s-1930]. — 47 photographs. — Consists of copy negatives of original prints in PD-232 and PA-498 above.
NA-2617-77 William Traill, chief trader, Meskanaw, Saskatchewan. — [ca. 1914]. — 1 photograph. — Copied from original in PA-1540.